The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is implementing a pilot project that will enhance the overall enrolment of people in 10 Demonstration Districts onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The project, which is being funded by the Africa Health Market for Equity (AHME), primarily aims to employ a scientific method to identify the poor and vulnerable and enroll them onto the NHIS, free of charge.

Under the project— a partnership between NHIS and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP) —enumerators from NHIA will be visiting the homes of people in the beneficiary districts to ask questions about their families and households so as to determine whether or not residents are eligible for registration onto the NHIS for free.

The Ashaiman Municipality is among the 10 demonstration districts and about 7,000 poor persons in the municipality are expected to be registered free of charge under the project, the national launch of which took place in Accra in November, last year.

Speaking at the launch of the project at Ashaiman, yesterday, the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Ibrahim Baidoo, noted that access to health care was a right and that the initiative by NHIS and MGCSP was part of government’s efforts for every Ghanaian to enjoy the right.

Mr Baidoo commended NHIS, MGCSP and AHME for the initiative which, he was hopeful, would bring significant improvements in access to health care in the Ashaiman community.

In a welcome address, Mr Lawerence Amartey, Greater Accra Regional Director, NHIA, said the main objective of AHME project was to remove financial barriers and provide enough health care to all needy Ghanaians.

Mr Amartey said although the NHIS had experienced some challenges over the years, the scheme was now poised to overcome those challenges and deliver on its mandate.

NHIS was instituted in 2003 as a pro-poor intervention programme to provide equity in health care delivery for all Ghanaians, ensure easy access to health care and protect the poor and vulnerable against financial risk.

Currently, 11.2 million persons, representing 40 per cent of the population of the country, have been registered under the scheme.

The national launch of the AHME project took place in Accra in November, last year.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney & Aliyah Bayali )